Tag Archives: cocaine

Mukasey on Crack: Backtracking on Sentencing

May 14, 2010

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Last year, the U.S. Sentencing Commission voted to reduce the sentences for crack cocaine offenses in an attempt to address the startling inequalities between crack and powder cocaine penalties. Prior to that ruling, 5 grams of crack cocaine carried the same penalty as 500 grams of powder; more than 85 percent of incarcerated crack offenders are black. In December, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Kimbrough v. U.S. that judges were no longer bound by the sentencing guidelines. Within a day, the Sentencing Commission announced retroactive sentencing changes, making almost 20,000 inmates eligible for consideration for early release in the next decade.

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